On 12th and 13th January 2019 we will conduct interviews to select up to 6 Equality Fellows who will dedicate the next 2 years to the better implementation of equality and non-discrimination law in India. 13 talented candidates will appear before a 4 member panel of prominent activists and human rights advocates: Mihir Desai, Martin Macwan, Anindya Hajra and Jayna Kothari.
Centre for Law and Policy Research organised a consultation to discuss policy brief on reservation for transgender persons in employment and education, as directed by NALSA. It also discussed preliminary findings of a research on caste discrimination CLPR worked on.
The recent gruesome report of the beheading of a minor SC girl in Tamil Nadu for rejecting the advances of an upper caste male once again throws the issue of caste discrimination into sharp focus. Women from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and violence due to the intersection caste and gender. Despite this, we note that crimes against SC and ST women are viewed as either caste based crimes or sex based crimes. Further, while data on caste based crimes is readily available in the NCRB reports, which we have analysed in our previous posts I, II and III, disaggregated data on crimes against women is not presented.
In this post, we explore how courts have performed in respect of crimes against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. We will compare the data from Andhra Pradesh (AP), Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu (TN) with the national figures for 2016.
Having noted that the number of reported crimes against SCs and STs is high, the next stage of the criminal justice process that demands study is the response of the investigating agencies. While a few independent reports have surveyed the response of the police to crimes against SCs and STs, NCRB reports remain the only comprehensive source of such data at the national and state level.
On 21 May 2018, The Wire reported the death of a Dalit man in Gujarat who was allegedly beaten to death when he protested the fact that his wife was asked to clean filth, free of charge. This reporting comes only two months after the decision of Subhash Kashinath Mahajan, where the Supreme Court diluted some of the protections under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (‘Act’). The incident is a striking example of the pervasiveness of caste bias and the prevalence of atrocities in India.
The effects of caste-based discrimination in India have been documented extensively. However, studies on the role caste plays for women, sexual minorities, and persons with disabilities have not found any voice.
On 23rd April 2018, the Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (“HRF”) held a Strategic Multi-Actor Round Table (SMART) 2018 to discuss issues related to strengthening the implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (“Act”) and Rules in Tamil Nadu and release of the Status Report on the implementation of the Act in Tamil Nadu, in 2015 and 2016.